The digital ad industry’s ads.txt effort to root out certain types of programmatic ad fraud, like domain spoofing, has shown to be effective at ensuring advertisers’ ads and dollars make it to their intended publishers — but it’s not perfect.

“The most fundamental loophole in ads.txt, beside the lack of support for mobile app inventory, is the need to trust, not that others are validating [against publishers’ ads.txt files] but that they’re not complicit in the fraud,” said Curt Larson, chief product officer at ad tech firm Sharethrough and member of the IAB Tech Lab’s OpenRTB working group.

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